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As an employee, you should be able to work every day in a supportive environment that promotes your growth and development. However, this is not the case for many workers.

In fact, about one in five workers consider their workplace to be hostile or threatening, according to CNBC. For a workplace to be deemed as hostile, the harassment must discriminate against a protected classification. Fortunately, there are things you can do to try and put an end to the hostile behavior.

What should you do to combat a hostile environment?

If you are experiencing hostility in the workplace, it is crucial that you exhaust all of your options to build a legal case if needed. To deal with the harassment, you may want to:

  • Document harassment and witnesses: Document specific incidents that result in a hostile work environment. Write down any witnesses and be specific on dates and times. This will help you later if a legal battle ensues.
  • Notify your manager or human resources department: If the harassment has not ceased, bring up the issue with your supervisor or an HR employee. They should investigate the behavior and, hopefully, put an end to it.
  • Find a lawyer: If the behavior has still not stopped, your best option might be to speak with an attorney. An attorney can let you know if you have legal grounds to sue as well.

If you don’t believe the harassment has violated any laws, you might not have a legal case on your hands. An alternative then might be to continue working with management to fix the issue or leave the company if you do not see a resolution happening.

If you have any questions or are unsure if you have the legal justification for suing, consider speaking with an attorney. An attorney can assess your situation and provide advice on what you should do to solve the problem.